person writing in journal

How to Start a Self-Care Journal

If you’re a writer, chances are you have a stack of journals tucked away in the back of your closet, likely filled with memories, heartbreaks, and musings. Many of us journal as a means of self-care to process thoughts, feelings, and experiences. But have you ever created a journal solely for self-care? Although you can purchase ready-made self-care journals, here are some things to consider if you’d like to try your hand at designing one for yourself.


The journal


Before anything else, find a journal you really love. You’re more likely to write in a journal that fits your personal aesthetic, sparking a moment of joy in your day. 


Support a fellow creative by purchasing from a small stationery business, or, if you’re on a budget, search your journal collection for one that’s partially filled, removing used pages for a blank slate.


Inspirational quotes


At the beginning of each week, write down a quote in your journal that reminds you to practice self-care. These can be words from a writer you admire, a family member, a friend, or even a quote from your Instagram feed that caught your eye.


A quote can help set the tone for your week, encouraging self-reflection and growth.


One thing I did for myself today


When life is busy, we tend to take care of everything except ourselves—but incorporating small, intentional acts of self-care into your daily routine reminds you to make space for yourself. 


Whether you enjoy watering your plants throughout the week, reading and writing every morning, or exploring new hobbies, dedicate a “one thing I did for myself today” section in your journal to prompt you to take care of yourself each day.




Set aside room in your journal for expressing your creativity. This is a perfect space to draw, paint, or write poems. Your creativity section can take up a larger chunk of your journal, or you can create a smaller section on your daily pages. Experiment and find what works for you!


People to call


A large part of self-care involves caring for your mind. If you struggle with mental health, it’s likely you’ve experienced feelings of isolation. In your journal, keep a list of people to call when you’re feeling lost or stuck in a spiral. Reaching out to family or friends you trust can help you feel less alone and more grounded. This section can be on a stand-alone page at the beginning of your journal, serving as a continuous reminder to lean on loved ones during low periods.


Therapy notes


Attending therapy can be nerve-racking, especially if you’re seeking help for the first time. Creating a section in your journal for therapy notes, whether daily or weekly, can ease stress and help you stay organized. Instead of overthinking what you might say during your session, jot down thoughts in your journal to free up space in your mind.


Be sure to write down both insights from your most recent appointment as well as what you want to discuss for your next session. Seeing your progress documented in your journal can motivate you on your self-care and healing journeys. 


If you’re feeling inspired to create your own personalized self-care journal, let these sections serve as a general guide. Ultimately, design a journal that supports your unique method of self-care. Allow yourself to be creative and find joy in this process!